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Dirty Secrets of Liquid Laundry Detergents

February 23, 2020

Dirty Secrets of Liquid Laundry Detergents

Written by Tenley Haraldson. Reviewed by cleaning expert Sean Busch.


With annual sales of more than $100 billion worldwide, liquid laundry detergent is big business. Controlled by a handful of multinational conglomerates, this market is also riddled with advertising tricks, diluted formulas, unnecessary plastic usage, and flat-out misinformation.

It’s a well-known secret that the laundry detergent industry profits by watering down their formulas and also encouraging consumers to use more product than they actually need. Discover how Puracy has taken a different approach, and why we believe both consumers and the environment would benefit from a shift to more concentrated formulas.

Oversized Laundry Detergent Bottles Stand Out On Store Shelves  

Walk down the detergent aisle of any supermarket and you’ll find that the bottles are optimized to take up the largest amount of shelf space. Oversized square and rectangular shapes maximize that prime real estate while bright bold colors entice shoppers to take a closer look.

The size of a liquid laundry detergent bottle, however, doesn’t reflect what’s really inside.

How Much Water Is in Your Liquid Laundry Detergent?

We invite you to look at the side panel of your regular laundry detergent. It’s pretty safe to assume that “water” is the first ingredient.

With the help of our PhD chemistry team, we recently analyzed some of the top competitors in the liquid laundry detergent market. What we found is that most conventional, non-concentrated laundry detergents contain less than 10% active ingredients. The rest of the formulas are mostly water. By contrast, Puracy 10X Natural Laundry Detergent – the most concentrated formula sold in the United States – contains 85% active ingredients.

Active Ingredients in Laundry Detergents

Why Do Most of Our Major Competitors Sell a Diluted Product? 

By adding water, competitors are able to increase the size of their packaging, giving their bottles a greater presence on store shelves. From the perspective of the average customer, these larger bottles appear to offer consumers “more for their money.” However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Each 24-ounce bottle of Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent cleans 96 loads of laundry. Most of our competitors also sell bottles capable of cleaning 96 loads. The big difference is that they come in giant 150-ounce bottles.

These industry-standard bottles waste an excessive amount of plastic, water, and energy. And that doesn’t even take into account the increased carbon footprint that stems from shipping large jugs of (mostly) water across the country.

Most Laundry Detergents Encourage Waste 

Open up your laundry detergent cap: It’s probably enormous, but the fill line that you use to measure each dose is extremely low (about ⅓ from the bottom). You’ll also notice that it’s difficult to see where that line is. 

Reduce Waste with Puracy ProductsThis isn’t a coincidence. It’s common practice among leading brands, and a way to encourage customers to use more product than necessary.

Adding extra detergent into your wash load won’t get your clothes cleaner. In fact, if you add too much, you run the risk of leaving residue on your garments. Despite this, consumers often end up filling the entire cap with detergent, leading to wasted product and a higher cost per load.

When you think about the size of these containers, the lack of concentrated ingredients, and the misleading measurement containers, it’s clear that these products are designed to maximize waste.

Detergent Pods Started with Good Intentions

Over the years, several major detergent producers have attempted to do better. One of the biggest breakthroughs came with the advent of laundry detergent “pods.” These pods can boast a 90%+ active ingredient makeup, and the concentrated product works extremely well while limiting packaging waste.

The initial idea behind laundry pods was a noble one, but over time, manufacturers started to encourage overuse. Initially, the instructions were to use a single detergent pod. Today, customers are encouraged to use two (or even three) per laundry load.

Detergent Pod Wasteful

Increased Use = Increased Risk 

In addition to creating unnecessary waste, intense concentrations in conventional detergent pods mean that chemical residue doesn’t always fully wash out. Since surfactants and perfumes are typically considered “trade secrets”, consumers don’t always know what they’re being exposed to. 

Long-term exposure to certain detergent chemicals can cause allergic reactions, skin and eye irritation, or worse. For example, 1,4 dioxane has been deemed a “potential carcinogen” by the FDA (yet you can still find it in many major laundry detergent brands). 

Why Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent Is Different

best natural laundry detergent

We Believe in Superior Product Performance 

All of our products here at Puracy are built on performance. Our 10x concentrated laundry detergent is effective and has evolved over the past seven years, with increased enzyme concentration and improved rinsing agents that respond to any water hardness.

Media outlets and laundry experts across the country have praised our laundry detergent for how well it works, especially when correctly paired with our natural stain remover. It’s also received nearly 1,500 five-star reviews on Amazon.

And unlike big-name detergents that are upwards of 90% water, Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent is comprised of 85% active ingredients. In fact, Puracy is one of the only liquid laundry detergents that doesn’t list “water” as its first ingredient.

We’re Actively Taking Steps to Conserve Resources

Each small container of Puracy Laundry Detergent washes 96 full loads of laundry, and the pump measures an exact dose so you won’t waste anything. And while many detergent manufacturers use HDPE, a more rigid type of plastic that takes longer to break down in landfills, Puracy uses clear PETE, the most easily recyclable plastic in existence.

Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent

New Laundry Detergent Refill Pouch Coming in 2020

Puracy 64-ounce refill pouches – which save over 90% in plastic, water, and energy compared to regular bottles – are exceptional choices for households looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Since we launched our first refill pouch just a few years ago, we’ve already saved more than 200 tons of plastic waste from entering the environment. 

Thanks to popular demand from eco-conscious customers like you, we’ll soon be introducing a laundry detergent pouch refill (64oz.) so you can reuse your bottle and pump.

We Only Use Safe, Effective, Plant-Based Ingredients 

All of Puracy’s ingredients are safe for the entire family. They’re biodegradable, cruelty-free, and our “free and clear” detergent is gentle on even the most sensitive skin, from adults to babies. No dyes, no fragrance, just hard-working plant-based enzymes and a 99.5% natural formula. 

As we continue to grow, we’re honored that our concept, vision, and transparency have resonated with our customers and their families. Discover more about the awards Puracy continues to receive, and how our Natural Laundry Detergent rivals that of major conglomerates.

Natural Laundry Detergent

Safe for sensitive skin & 10x concentrated to last. Eliminates stains, odors, sweat, and dirt from 96 full loads of the dirtiest laundry.

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Natural Laundry Detergent



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